By Taren Powell
John Curtis hosted his annual Rural Business Summit on Friday at the Carbon County Senior Center in Price. The event kicked off with a welcoming statement by Lorie Fowlke, Rep. John Curtis’ District Director, and in true John Curtis fashion, a sock giveaway.
Rep. John Curtis was welcomed by Price Mayor Michael Kourianos where he thanked him and his staff for organizing such a great event. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to ensure safe physical-distancing, the summit did not include typical breakout sessions like in years past. Instead, the event was held in one room with presentations.
The first session’s topic was about the responses to supply chain disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically recognizing sources of distribution and identifying options and solutions. This session included Linda Gillmor, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Marketing and Economic Development Director; Miles Hansen, World Trade Center Utah President and CEO; Douglas Robinson, Red Fox Fulfillment Co-Founder and CEO; and Rick Clasby, Utah Trucking Association Executive Director.
Session two revolved around different resources to revitalize your business. Many businesses have recently felt the pressure to conduct more transactions online. This group of panelists discussed how to pivot from in-person to virtual sales as well as finding creative ways to motivate your sales team and serve customers.
This session’s speakers included Marla Trollan, SBA Utah District Office District Director; Val Hale, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director; Theresa Foxley, EDCUtah President/Chief Executive Officer; Candace Daly, National Federation of Independent Business State Director; and Melva Sine, Utah Restaurant Association President and CEO.
Wrapping up the morning sessions, Rep. John Curtis discussed leadership during a crisis. He shared many stories when he was placed in a leadership role, including one where he felt that he failed as a leader when he didn’t have clear priorities. He believes leading during a crisis is successful when you know you have given the people around you hope to continue.
A quick lunch from Juniper Pizza Cafe was next on the agenda before Rep. John Curtis presented the awards.
Receiving the Rural Business award was Emery Telcom. Rep. John Curtis shared how much he appreciates the business’ efforts in bringing broadband internet to rural Utah. He applauded Emery Telcom’s efforts in a current project that involves running fiber to San Juan County and the Navajo Nation.
Next up, Rep. John Curtis awarded four Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition awards. These went to Magnuson Lumber of Emery County, ACT Campground of Grand County and Goulding’s Monument Valley of San Juan County.
The Rural Business Summit concluded with one last session, which was a crisis leadership panel. This panel included Greg Bell, CEO and President of the Utah Hospital Association; San Juan County Chief Administrative Officer, Mack McDonald; Brad Crist, Savage Sector President of Energy and Chemical; and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, GOP Nominee for Governor and COVID-19 Task Force Chair.